Long-term follow-up of children with benign abducens nerve palsy
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel/Review - 13.02.2009
Sturm Veit, Schöffler C
Benign abducens nerve palsy is rare in childhood. Diagnosis is made by exclusion, and the severe underlying pathologies have to be ruled out. The aim of our study was to present the largest single-center series of patients with the longest period of follow-up to confirm the benign nature of this entity.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
We carried out a retrospective study of 12 consecutive children with benign abducens nerve palsy. All children underwent a careful orthoptic and ophthalmic examination during acute presentation and follow-up.
Painless palsies were associated with a preceding infection or immunization in five patients. The left eye was affected in nine children and no bilateral case was found. No sex differences were seen. Recovery was observed within 6 months in all cases, and ipsilateral recurrences occurred in three children. Three children required strabismus surgery. None of the patients developed long-term recurrences or neurological abnormalities during a mean follow-up of more than 9 years.
Our data support earlier findings, such as painless and predominately left-sided occurrence, spontaneous recovery within 6 months, and ipsilateral recurrence. In contrast to much of the literature, we did not find a female preponderance. Exclusion of severe causes and close follow-up is mandatory for these patients. As none of the patients developed long-term recurrences or neurological sequelae, this entity can be regarded as a benign condition without malignant associations or complications.